Video Captures Distracted Driving Crash Between Sheriff Car, Amish Buggy

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CHAUTAUQUA, NY (WNY News Now) – A late-night crash blamed on a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Deputy that injured several people riding in an Amish buggy is sparking public concerns about not just the low visibility of slow moving vehicles, but also, distracted driving.

Sheriff Jim Quattrone spoke to WNY News Now one-on-one to break down the moments leading up to the October 30 accident, and warn drivers to keep their eyes on the road learning from a real world example involving Deputy Dylan Pratt.

“It was an accident that happened back in October that the Erie County Auditor had rightfully foiled and placed on his YouTube page and actually he pointed out the fact that distracted driving could cause accidents and that any of us could be victims of that,” said Sheriff Jim Quattrone.

After the body camera footage was posted online, Sheriff Quattrone feels the public is not seeing the full picture.

“The last few seconds of the video is what people were seeing, and they were seeing the view from the camera, not necessarily seeing the view from the officer driving the car. He was very honest, he had looked down at his mobile data terminal to see where the next call that he was responding to was located and took his eyes off the road for a split second,” said Quattrone.

Since the crash, the Sheriff is doubling down the importance of staying safe on the road.

“We need to continue to learn from the distracted driving,” Quattrone said. “I’m happy to say that the Children’s Safety Village in Ashville has a distracted driving simulator, we’ve been going to different schools and currently working with the director there to set up where we can have our officers go through that simulator as well.”

Even with precautionary measures, buggies like these can be difficult to spot at night.

“Unfortunately this past couple of years we’ve had an increased number of car and Amish buggy accidents in that general area. That was actually the second one involved in that within a couple months,” said Quattrone.

In the end, the Sheriff tells us drivers should take care to keep their eyes on the road and be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles.

Because deputy Pratt was honest and upfront about his mistake, he remains on the job. The family in the buggy, have since been released from the hospital following the accident.


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